Details of Disappearance
Jennifer was supposed to be babysitting her siblings in their Brockton, Massachusetts home on November 14, 1989, but decided to go out with friends. Between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m., she returned to her home to get a sweater and asked her cousin to mind the children while she went to a party on Emerson Avenue.
Her cousin came over at 10:00 p.m., and Jennifer then left her residence. She was in good spirits at the time. She never returned.
Jennifer initially went to a female friend's house near her own home, but her friend was not at home and the girl's mother refused to let her inside. The mother says Jennifer smelled of liquor and appeared to be slightly drunk. She left the residence accompanied by a 22-year-old man, Mark Wombolt.
They went to a local convenience store at the end of Jennifer's street, less than a minute's walk from her house. Wombolt said Jennifer went inside the store, but he didn't feel well and went home while she was inside. He also said he'd seen her talking to two men in a truck and she may have gotten inside the truck with thw men.
That was the last time anyone ever saw or heard from her. She was reported missing the next morning when she had not returned home from the party.
Authorities originally thought Jennifer had run away from home. She had run away before, but had never been gone very long and had always stayed in touch with her parents. She is described as a very social person who was reportedly happy with her life in 1989. Some of her friends were apparently involved with drugs and possibly other illegal activities, and many were not cooperative with police during the initial investigation.
Investigators now believe Jennifer was abducted shortly after her disappearance, probably by someone she knew and trusted. In 2003, there was a tip that Jennifer was murdered and her body placed in the cab of a truck and dumped in a pond just outside of Brockton, minutes from her home. Authorities searched the pond but found no evidence.
One suspect in Jennifer's disappearance is Kevin Wayne Maler. He was 22 years old in 1989 and a friend of Wombolt, the last person known to have seen Jennifer. He has an extensive criminal record and a history of violence towards women and girls. After her disappearance, he allegedly bragged to people about having buried her body.
In September 2022, Maler was charged with kidnapping and murder in the 2019 death of Kevin Kyle Craig in South Carolina. At the time he was charged, he was already in prison serving a five-year sentence for a drug offense. A photo of Maler is posted with this case summary.
Craig's death was initially considered accidental. Investigators believe Maler confined him in his own trailer and killed him by injecting him with an unknown substance, possibly insulin, and that the motive was to cover up his and Craig's involvement in the 2019 disappearance of Pamela "Faith" Roach, who was last seen in Walhalla, South Carolina in February 2019.
No one has been charged in connection with Roach's disappearance or Jennifer's, but foul play is suspected in both cases.